Skip to navigation
Skip to sub-navigation
Skip to main content

College of Human Environmental Sciences

Youth Development (MA & Online Only)

Printer Friendly Format (pdf)

An estimated 17,000 organizations (e.g., 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts) currently serve more than 30 million young people, and national trends are moving away from focusing on problems and behavior correction, instead favoring a positive approach that focuses on developing the strengths of youth. The 36 credit master's degree program (MA) consists of 9 required core courses (25 credits), a required capstone experience (0-2 credits), and 9-12 credits of elective courses. Core courses offered within the program include eight 3-credit courses and a 1-credit professional-development seminar.

professional helping youth


HDFS 7231: Foundations of Youth Development (1)
HDFS 8234: Adolescents and their Families (3)
HDFS 8235: Administration and Program Management (3)
HDFS 8236: Federal and State Policies that Impact Youth Development (3)
HDFS 8237: Youth Culture (3)
HDFS 8239: Community Youth Development (3)
HDFS 8240: Youth Development (3)
HDFS 8232: Youth Professionals as Consumers of Research (3)
HDFS 8238: Program Design, Evaluation, and Implementation (3)

Suggested Electives*:

HDFS 8087: Seminar: Improving Health of Adolescents (3)
HDFS 8087: Seminar: Normative Behavior in Immigrant & Minority Youth (3)
HDFS 7001: Topics: Brain Development (3)
HDFS 8087: Seminar: Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy, & Parenthood (3)

*Or Any Adviser-Approved Course

NOTE: Up to 6 credits can be transferred from other graduate programs if the courses are deemed relevant by your adviser.

Required Capstone Experience:

HDFS 8972: Internship (variable)
HDFS 8999: Exam*

*No course credit is assigned to the exam option.

The student will be able to:

  • Understand, integrate, and be able to apply conceptual approaches to youth development (e.g., asset building, positive youth development, community youth development, risk and resiliency).
  • Understand normative pathways to development; Understand youth and family
    cultural issues/contexts and their micro- and macro-influences on positive youth outcomes.
  • Understand and apply basic research and evaluation skills to youth development
    programming through an applied project that serves as a capstone experience under the direction of the candidate's home institution.
  • Develop skills in problem-solving with "stakeholders" including funding sources,
    boards, other agencies, families and other professionals.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the development and impact of local, regional, state, federal, and global policies on youth and be able to advocate through policy development for optimal youth outcomes.
  • Develop and apply resources (e.g., agency budgeting, grant writing and processing, fund raising) for successful implementation and management of youth-serving organizations.
  • Understand the history of the youth development area and advocate for the
    continued professionalization of the field.

to top of page